Detail of a Chaguar belt Detail of a Chaguar belt Detail of a Chaguar belt Detail of Chaguar table cover
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Chaguar, weaving the forest's fibres

The Chaguar (Bromelia serra) is a plant which resembles the yucca, with sword-shaped evergreen leaves. It grows in the forest and is about 3 feet tall. The Wichi women cut its leaves with wooden spades or machete.

cutting Chaguar leaves

cleaning Chaguar leaves

It is the Wichi women who master the skills needed to obtain the chaguar fibre from its tough leaves.
For countless generations, they have gathered in groups and, sitting on the ground, prepared the leaves, cleaning them thoroughly.

The leaves are then soaked in water to soften them, and then beaten until shred into fibres.

beating the fibres
Drying the Chaguar fibres

The fibres are washed and then placed on branches to dry.

" Spinning ". The fibres are worked into threads by rubbing them on the thigh, which has previously been coated with ash to ease the task. These threads are later dyed with natural colours obtained from bark, plants and flowers. The colours range from bright yellow to blue and black.

Spinning the Chaguar fibres
Woven Chaguar
 

The dyed fibres are woven into purses (yisca), ponchos, skirts, bags, straps, belts, waistcoats, or strung with baked clay beads or seeds to make necklaces.
The actual weaving can be done either using needles or on simple hand looms.

Chaguar. Stunning, simple, beautiful

The designs woven into the Chaguar cloths represent the myths and folklore of the Wichi and their respect for the forest and its creatures.

 
Fox paw motif
Elbow motif
woodpecker's chest motif

Fox paw motif

Elbow motif

Woodpecker's chest motif


 

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pouch - material: chaguar pouch - material: chaguar and seeds necklace - material: clay beads strung on chaguar

Small chaguar pouch

Tiny purse of seeds & chaguar

clay beads necklace strung on chaguar
 

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